Pleasant Dinner Tete a Tete @ La Braceria on 18Apr2015

wagyu & porcini fettucine

wagyu & porcini fettucine

a friend bought dinner this evening at la braceria on 17.4.2015.^^

he had wanted me to try shelter in the woods but that was fully booked for the evening. 🙂

years ago, la braceria was located at ming teck park area, close to my place. after that the chef has moved to different places a few times.

this friend last joined my home dinners more than 1/2 year ago. this time, he wanted just to buy dinner & have a tete a tete. 🙂

we ordered 1 antipasti & 2 pastas to share, and my friend wanted to share a choc lava cake.

fritto calamari

fritto calamari

fritto calamari

fritto calamari

the calamari was good! batter was not crispy & yet it was very nice overall, and with a touch of mayonnaise. ^^

wagyu & porcini fettucine

wagyu & porcini fettucine

wagyu & porcini fettucine

wagyu & porcini fettucine

the wagyu & porcini fettucine was “must try for meat lovers”, according to the menu.

& YES!! must try!

pasta was very good indeed. very tasty & savoury.

seafood squidink linguine

seafood squidink linguine

seafood squidink linguine

seafood squidink linguine

seafood squidink linguine

seafood squidink linguine

we also had the seafood squidink linguine. there was quite a bit of scallops & squid. again very tasty. this i can make myself though, and my version of seafood squid ink linguine is almost as good.^^

flamed lava cake

flamed lava cake

flamed lava cake

flamed lava cake

i am impressed with the flamed lava cake. the flavour was very good. texture was better than my lava cake, a lot more lava, anyway i will adjust my lava cake a bit & see if i can produce more lava. the lava texture is an important contributor to the overall experience.

while it was a very enjoyable dinner with friend who picked up the tab, the dinner cost S$102, about same as what i paid the other night for 2pax at il Lido.

there was no comparison for the ambience & class of il Lido, and we had black cod with unit & scampi pasta with uni & a grilled octopus. on top of that we had 2 great amuse bouche of fine dining standard. so la braceria pales by comparison & is really not competitive on price.

c.h.e.f andy

Good but Expensive Dinner @ aPompei on 21Nov2014

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

we were thinking of a place to go for 5pax family dinner on a friday w/o too much hassle on traffic & parking. decided to try the new restaurant aPompei at 6th avenue on 21.11.2014. 🙂

restaurant only started a week ago, according to chef mimo, who was from al borgo. we liked the florentine steak at al borgo by chef mim0. my wife recently had that at al borgo & she said it’s no longer good, so we were looking forward to having the good florentine steak here. 🙂

chef mimo was friendly & chatty, and we had always liked his food. so we decided to order his recommendations & let him organise the dinner. 🙂

food was good as we expected. price though was a bit expensive.

bread to start

bread to start

bread in most italian diners were mostly just baguette with olive oil/balsamic dip, nothing fancy like top restaurants.

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

antipasti - S$72

antipasti – S$72

the antipasti was a huge serving. it was good, with parma ham, good quality salami (my wife normally does not take salami but she was ok with this one), buffalo mozzarella, another cheese & olives.

we found out only later when we had the bill that the antipasti cost S$72 (since we left it in the hands of chef mimo). this was way too expensive for an antipasti for 2 guys & 3 ladies.

i am just guessing that maybe we were charged 3 portions=S$24×3. if we had ordered ourselves, we would have ordered just 1 portion. it was not about the price of the antipasti but whether we would spent S$72 for a very large portion or used the same money to order 2 more pastas etc.

focaccia

complimentary focaccia

we had a complimentary focaccia, topped with cherry tomatoes. in fact we thought it was better than the seafood pizza. we saw on the menu it cost S$13.

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

mussels - S$28

mussels – S$28

the mussels was very good. i felt it was expensive at S$28. i could do very good mussels myself, but i used the cheap mussels from sheng shiong. these mussels here were of course the better variety. 🙂

vongole - S$28

vongole – S$28

vongole

vongole – S$28

the vongole was very good also. the spaghetti were very al dente. somehow it cost more than S$24 on the menu? this is also a dish i do well, and sometimes i can get mango clams from sheng shiong which i think is better than la la (littleneck clams).

seafood pizza

seafood pizza

the seafood pizza was good, but we felt the cheaper focaccia (complimentary by chef mimo) was better. 🙂

florentine steak - S$88

florentine steak – S$88

& the 600g florentine steak. this was our favourite & it was as good as the one at al borgo of old (though my wife said it was no longer so). al borgo charged S$60 initially but raised to S$75 last year. it was S$88 here. i guess the price was not cheap but ok as long as the standard is kept. 🙂

complimentary dessert

complimentary dessert

chef mimo offered us 2 complimentary sponge cakes. the texture felt a bit like tiramisu (moist) but chef mimo said it was sponge cake. they were good but these tended to be quite sweet.

the dinner for 5pax (2guys, 3 ladies) cost S$350nett including a S$62 bottle wine. wine was good & priced similar to what you get at a good restaurant. 🙂

i felt the dinner was overly expensive at about S$56nett excluding the wine. if the antipasti was 1 portion at S$24++, price would be S$45pax nett, which was still not cheap but i guess ok for the food.

anyway, we were overall happy with the food, even though price was on the expensive side & it had cost a lot more than if we had ordered from the menu, which is what we would do next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Scrumptious Kagoshima Wagyu Dinner @ Arossa Scotts Square on 3Sep2014

kagoshima wagyu medium rare (180g)

kagoshima wagyu medium rare (180g)

watched a very good movie “the hundred-foot journey” at shaw lido with wife yesterday on 3.9.2014, and decided to go across the road to arossa at scotts square for dinner. 🙂

i weren’t going to take photos & blog at first as we came here only 2 weeks ago & had wonderful miyazaki wagyu on 16.8.2014.

anyhow we ordered the same uni (sea urchin) pasta to share & also 2 new menu items – kagoshima wagyu (miyazaki wagyu not available) and an iberico pork chop, so i decided to blog in the end. 🙂

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

the server offered to split the uni (sea urchin) pasta. it was good as before. i enjoyed this wonderful starter very much. 🙂

lightly breaded iberico pork chop

lightly breaded iberico pork chop

kagoshima wagyu medium rare (180g)

kagoshima wagyu medium rare (180g)

we had such a superb miyazaki wagyu steak here & we were looking forward. but this time they replaced it with a kagoshima & it was just fabulous, perhaps more. chef watanabe is such a skilful specialist in grilling technique. the steak was so nicely charred for maillard reaction & the meat was pink & consistent, and very flavourful & marbled with melt-in-the-mouth texture. 🙂

lightly breaded iberico pork chop

lightly breaded iberico pork chop

the lightly breaded iberico pork chop was very good as well, though one could not compare a spanish pork chop to japanese wagyu…lol. 🙂

the jap wagyu will bring me back here sooner than later, and also there are other items on the menu including squid ink pasta & antipasti etc which i can explore further. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Food & Ambience @ Ochre at Orchard Central on 25Feb2013

antipasti platter

antipasti platter

a friend close to me now resident at Cupertino California with his family came calling and a few of us arranged to have a quiet 5pax dinner.  I had an expiring 50% discount voucher from Kitchen Language which owns Ochre, Salta, Kumo etc so decided to do dinner at Ochre @ Orchard Central. 🙂

Ochre has a nice dining setting & ambience. It was one of the restaurants that had earlier offered palate discounts so I frequented it quite a few times then. The food was good for the price after palate discounts and as Ochre does not charge service, I used to provide the equivalent 10% in tip to the waiting staff.

For this evening, we had 7 dishes-

  1. antipasti platter
  2. beef carpaccio
  3. seafood linguine
  4. meat-eater pizza
  5. sous vide beef cheeks & kurobuta pork
  6. osobucco on a bed of risotto
  7. funghi risotto

using UOB Kitchen Language 50% discount voucher, we paid S$124nett for 7 dishes for 5pax, so its just S$25nett pax, truly great value for such food quality & ambience. 🙂

the anitpasti was good & substantial – with buffalo mozzarella, parma ham with rock melon, smoked salmon with caviar, artichoke. olives & cherry tomatoes with feta cheese.

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the beef carpaccio with rockets & parmesan shavings was also good.  the seafood linguine though was really average. I think I consistently do mine better!

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the meat-eater pizza was again very average (pizza not my thing but currently I like quatro fromage (4-cheese) pizza after trying a very good one some time back at Alfresco Gusto)- which is not saying so good for an Italian joint to have very average pizza & pasta..well, can’t have everything cheap & good I guess..

the duo sous vide beef cheek & kurobuta pork was quite ok, and actually my friends quite liked this savoury dish.

20130225_195928 20130225_195941

the osobucco was the usual good for osobucco in most italian joints, but the bed of risotto not good – not creamy & “pang” (fragrant”) as it should be. clearly they were not good at risotto as the next dish – a funghi risotto which like a vongole dish should define good risotto & pasta dishes – was mushy & not fragrant, again below par!

The restaurant was maybe 40% full on a Monday night & we had a good quiet table though likely not for the other diners as we were laughing quite a bit & quite noisy. 🙂

after dinner we moved to the lobby level and had a nice cuppa to continue our chat. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Pasta Lunch @ Alfresco Gusto at Ion Orchard on 17Feb2013

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linguine carbonara – S$22

I bought some deal.com vouchers for Alfresco Gusto @ Ion Orchard & the family decided to go for Sunday lunch. Ion Orchard happens also to be a convenient location for other members of the family for after lunch shopping..haha. 🙂

the Alfresco Gusto vouchers were S$10 for S$20 & you can redeem unlimited number of vouchers, so effectively (nearly) it was quite close to a 50% discount, so relatively a good deal if the food & prices were good. 🙂 We don’t do Italian out so much as the ala carte main courses are quite expensive in the good restaurants and both my wife & I as well as our domestic help do quite good pasta dishes ourselves, but we do visit from time to time a few like Al Borgo (update –  i had excellent dinner there recently on 22.11.2013), Valentino, Spizzico, Covelli, Ochre & a good cheaper place like Capri. 🙂

tuna salad - S$20

tuna salad – S$20

We ordered the tuna salad. It was well plated, looked pretty. The mesclun salad with olives was great, the tuna was very average (kind of tasteless) though.

antipasti platter - S$26

antipasti platter – S$26

We also had the antipasti platter which had parma ham, beef, salami & sun-dried tomatoes, olives & baguette. It was good & S$26 was ok but Capri served a much better version at S$18, so w/o the near 50% discount Capri would do better on this item.

I was never much into carbonara. My son actually taught himself to cook a pretty good one, but the one here was really good – creamy & flavourful & looked amazing (top photo), the best among all the good dishes. 🙂

20130217_131721

veal ragout – S$24

I would put the veal ragout as the second best item. It was creamy, savoury and nicely sprinkled with chopped parsley & grated cheese & sun-dried tomatoes. 🙂

prawn linguine in tomato sauce - S$30

prawn linguine in tomato sauce – S$30

The prawn linguine in tomato sauce came with very good helping of large prawns – my daughter counted 7! it was good too but I guessed more towards the ordinary & boring – something we could do at home with equally fresh ingredients almost equally well. 🙂

crabmeat risotto - S$32

crabmeat risotto – S$32

the last item we ordered was the crab meat risotto. It was good as well but I distinctly remembered that I had tried the funghi risotto here once before a while back & that was the best I had for that meal & this crab meat version was not near as good even though it cost S$10 more.

all in all, the 6 dishes for our 5pax lunch cost S$101 nett using the vouchers which was really a very good deal considering the quality of the dishes. without the vouchers it would cost S$181 nett or about S$31++pax. as ala carte order it would not be overly expensive however there were many good lunch set places & better deals to be had elsewhere, so I would do this but not often w/o the discounts.

c.h.e.f andy